Episode 202: Sentinels of the Seas
Bottlenose dolphins are a beloved Florida icon. But recent studies show disturbing signs of immune system dysfunction and disease plaguing this charismatic mammal. These problems might be linked to legacy contaminants and other pollutants which bio-accumulate up the ocean food chain. For decades, toxic chemicals have made their way into the oceans, leaving fish and marine mammals vulnerable.
As sentinels of ecosystem health, dolphins potentially hold clues to environmental hazards that could impact humans. Changing Seas visits the world’s longest running dolphin research program and other marine mammal centers for a better understanding of the silent threats lurking beneath the waves.
Meet the experts featured in this episode.
Changing Seas would like to thank the following individuals and institutions who kindly allowed their footage, images and other media to be used in this production:
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University
All wild dolphin footage and images were collected under the following NMFS scientific research permits:
permit # 998-1678-00 (Greg Bossart)
permit # 522-1785 (Randall Wells)
permit #779-1633-01 (NOAA SEFSC)
Get a Close-up Look inside a Marine Mammal Transport Vehicle
How do you transport a whale? How do you get a dolphin to a hospital?
Director of Programs at Dolphin Conservation Field Station in St. Augustine Florida, George Biendenbach, gives a brief tour of marine mammal transport vehicles.